It’s only been going on a week or so, and so far, the President Trump shitstorm has lived up to its billing. Surreal press conferences, drastic executive orders, hasty Twittering … it’s been as close to total chaos as I’ve ever seen, which was most likely what our new regime and all the anti-establishment yahoos that have come along with it, were banking on from the start. I certainly can’t catalog for you all these rapidly changing current events, especially not in a bi-weekly column in the back of an artsy-fartsy publication, but if you’re interested in a chronicle of our journey down the rabbit hole, you can check out my old colleague Matt Kiser’s aptly named blog, Whatthefuckjusthappenedtoday.com. In the meantime, I’ll just ramble on about something you might have missed while you were rage-watching cable news, fashioning pun-tastic protest signs or marching somewhere.
Elon Musk. If you’re a weirdo like me and get a guilty pleasure from listening to Coast to Coast, you may be familiar with the name John Titor, a person who posted on online forums in 2000 for about four months before never being heard from again. Titor claimed to be a time traveler from 2036 and answered many pressing questions of the time. He said that CERN developed the basics of time travel and that GE built the first time machine in 2034; he also let us know that the world war we had in 2015 wiped out 3 billion people; and that the great U.S. Civil War of 2005 lasted 10 years, a 2015 Russian nuclear missile strike wiped out major U.S. cities and our nation’s capital was moved to Omaha, Nebraska. Oh, and in case you were worried, in 2036, yes, there is still a Post Office (despite all the civil war and nuclear fallout and such … Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night, indeed!).
So it would appear John Titor, like most things on the internet message boards, was complete bullshit. Or, maybe he was just providing alternative facts for what was to come. Either way, we’re all still here, and Omaha is still just Omaha, which I’m sure suits Omahans just fine. But I think John Titor was really just a smoke screen for the real time traveller in our midst, Elon Musk.
Musk, as you probably know, is the CEO of forward-thinking companies Tesla Motors, which makes the sexiest electric cars I’ve ever seen (their Model X car’s back doors flip up a la the DeLorean, which we all know is capable of time travel (COINCIDENCE?!)), and SpaceX, which will one day send me into space, where I belong. Lately he’s been tweeting about tunnels and how much he hates L.A. traffic, and hey, who could blame him? In mid-December, the height of the holiday shopping season, he sent out a series of tweets that stated, “Am going to build a tunnel boring machine and just start digging,” and, “It shall be called ‘The Boring Company,’” and, bluntly, “I am actually going to do this.”
Just over a month later Musk wrote on Twitter, “Exciting progress on the tunnel front. Plan to start digging in a month or so,” and then, just two days later on Jan. 27, he wrote, “And we start digging tonight,” linking to the @Hyperloop profile, a competition being held by SpaceX on Jan. 29 tapping other brainiacs to build some sort of swanky, high-speed, underground transportation pod that will zip people from one place to another via vacuum tubes.
But is Musk really digging a tunnel as we speak under Los Angeles? You know, without permits or environmental reviews or concern about how this could affect people’s homes and shit like that, just to avoid sitting in traffic like the rest of us stupid earthlings? Like, does he have that much power? An article on Washingtonpost.com says yes. According to “a person familiar with his thinking,” “After tunneling in his own backyard, Musk plans to continue to drill through the earth beneath public city roads, said the person, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the details have not been made public. The person added the drilling is just a hobby; Musk is not planning to start a new tunneling company,” writes Elizabeth Dwoskin.
I had to double check the page I was on 12 times to make sure I wasn’t on The Onion, or a page made up to look like the Washington Post’s website. I mean, it’s probably just some pithy comments made by a bright, influential dude that “just-so-happen” coincide with this Hyperloop thing and that people just took them way too literally. But maybe it’s not, and he knows something we don’t know, because he’s from the future. And I listen to too much Coast to Coast, and the world is so topsy-turvy right now that maybe it’d be best for all of us to just dig ourselves a big hole and wait for that great nuclear war of 2015 to come back around and wipe the slate clean.